I don't tend to listen to conventional music, and I hardly listen to the radio - except for years back living in LA and listening to the Santa Monica Community College radio station, which played a wide mix of independent and electronic music. Some people have commented on my eclectic taste in music, which tends to favor lyrical music without a broad following. Sometimes, the interest is prescient - case in point, my interest in Oasis and Coldplay before they "hit it big." But generally, I like to listen to music that I stumble upon in music shops, followng influences and my tastes.
One discovered artist that I recommend - I hardly remember how I find certain writers and authors any more - is Rufus Wainwright. He has uniquely blended folk, pop, and orchestral touches to create a sound that is unmistakeably his own. His parents were classically trained musicians of their own repute - Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle - and he was interested in opera at a young age. As his influences gelled, his style also emerged, this theatrical mix of musical influences that props up a vibrato voice that sweetly pierces his recordings. His new album - "Want One" - is the first of two ("Want Two" will be released in the spring of next year). But also check out his first album, self-titled, and his second album, "Poses", as great examples of what is good in pop music these days.